Jeff Carter’s routine has become – well, routine.
With Jarret Stoll’s injury, Carter became the club’s active Iron Man. He’s a ways away from passing Anze Kopitar’s club record of 330 consecutive games played, but when he suits up tonight, he’ll do so for the 126th consecutive regular season game.
Carter, who celebrated his 30th birthday on January 1, leads the team with 24 goals and is tied with Kopitar for the club lead with 52 points.
Part of that success is due to sturdy preparation, excellent conditioning as part of a replicable approach. Like clockwork, he’s also among the first players to arrive in the morning.
“Yeah, he’s here early,” Darryl Sutter said. “There’s a handful of ‘em.”
With an appreciated off-season regimen that becomes all the more impressive during the club’s truncated summers of late, it’s not any type of surprise that he has a three-digit consecutive games played streak and is tied for the club lead in points.
“It’s not just putting time in,” Sutter added. “You’ve got to put good time in, and to be here early and to stay late is not always necessarily productive. If you’re here to help out with your own preparation or performance, then good.”
Carter has done just that. His off-season preparation – even amidst prior labor uncertainty – has been a model for younger players to replicate. On the ice, it’s apparent he hasn’t lost a step at all, even as a tricenarian.
“I think from his time here – obviously I didn’t know Jeff before – but from his time here, he’s put quality training in in the summer, which has allowed him to be more productive during the regular season. The regular season for guys like that who play a lot is stay healthy and maintenance. So touch wood again, he’s missed about 10 games a year for the last few years, and those are contact injuries,” Sutter said.
“But in terms of the role model and the training and all that, I mean that’s why he’ll continue to be a top player, and that’s why other guys in his age group don’t – because they drop off.”